• Home
  • Body Art Model Code Adoption Toolkit

Body Art Model Code Adoption Toolkit

Developing and adopting body art regulations can be a long and challenging process that can vary widely between jurisdictions due to differing administrative procedures and rulemaking processes. This toolkit outlines a path to Body Art Model Code (BAMC) adoption for jurisdictions interested in utilizing the BAMC to develop, update, or enhance their regulations.

In this toolkit you will find:

  • Steps and recommended actions to take during the adoption process
  • Advice, best practices, and lessons learned from industry and regulators
  • Tools and information for talking to decision-makers such as legislators and board members
  • Relevant resources including:
    • Templates and examples
    • Signed letters of support
    • Vetted resources to facilitate or enhance partnership with industry
    • Trainings for regulatory staff


About the Body Art Model Code

The Body Art Model Code is the only comprehensive model code that addresses current body art issues and public health risks. We update it in partnership with public health and industry experts every five years to ensure it remains relevant and scientifically defensible.

Many state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) public health agencies across the U.S. are responsible for regulating body art. Developing and adopting body art regulations can be a long and challenging process that can vary widely between jurisdictions due to differing administrative procedures and rulemaking processes. This model code provides uniform guidance for those agencies.

The BAMC is neither federal law nor regulation. Jurisdictions can choose to adopt all or parts of the BAMC to regulate body art facilities within their jurisdictions. Most commonly, the BAMC is adopted either:

  • By reference, meaning a jurisdiction adopts the BAMC in its entirety, or
  • Section-by-section, meaning specific sections are adopted from the BAMC whereas other sections are not.

A single adoption process across jurisdictions isn’t possible due to varying administrative procedures and rulemaking processes. This toolkit outlines a path to Body Art Model Code (BAMC) adoption and provides relevant resources at each step.

If you have a resource to share or don’t see what you are looking for, please reach out to us at bodyart@neha.org, or complete the form at the end of this page.

Explore, step by step, how to adopt the BAMC:

Before Adoption

Getting Ready

Before you begin the journey to creating or updating body art regulations in your jurisdictions, it is important to understand your jurisdiction's current BAMC adoption status and the administrative and rulemaking processes you will navigate as you work to adopt new body art regulations. Use the steps and resources below to plan for BAMC adoption in your jurisdiction:

  • Identify current body art legislation and regulations in place in your jurisdiction
  • Understand the differences between your current code and the code you wish to adopt
  • Create an adoption team
  • Learn about local procedures for rulemaking

Toolkit: Getting Ready

Explain the Why

Decision makers will want to understand why it is important to update the jurisdiction’s body art regulations. You may need to provide written justification or be ready with talking points explaining why adopting body art regulations would be beneficial. Use these steps and resources to be ready to answer questions, share facts, and discuss the benefits of adoption.

  • Gather background information
  • Understand the science

Toolkit: Explain the Why

Collaborate With Partners

Collaborating with the community is an important part of successful adoption of any policy - including the BAMC. Use the steps and resources below to connect and build relationships to garner support, feedback, and buy-in with both internal and external partners, including:

  • Boards of Health
  • Industry partners
  • Regulatory partners
  • Local public health officials
  • Community members
  • Legislators and decision makers

Toolkit: Collaborate With Partners

Learn From Your Peers

BAMC adoption has implications for many members of the community. Use the resources below to address concerns and questions during the adoption process. Learn how to address some potential barriers to adoption from jurisdictions that have gone through the adoption process:

Toolkit: Learn From Your Peers

Gather Support

Showing decision makers the support you’ve received can help build the case for why adopting the BAMC is a worthwhile time and resource investment. Use the resources and tips below to gather support for BAMC adoption from regulatory programs, industry organizations, associations, and academia. Find industry organizations, template letters of support, and policy statements here:

Toolkit: Gather Support


Propose the Changes

When you are ready to officially present your proposal to decision makers such as a Board of Health, state legislature, or city, local, state, territorial, or tribal council(s), neatly package materials that include:

  • Background on body art and the need for adoption of BAMC
  • Detail of proposed changes
  • Supporting documents created or gathered
  • Justification and scientific rationale of the proposed regulations

Learn more about preparing your proposal:

Toolkit: Propose the Changes

Attend and Host Public Meetings

Depending on the jurisdiction’s administrative procedures, there will likely be one or more public meetings. Attend these meetings and continue to promote the BAMC adoption using supporting materials and your subject matter expertise.

Hosting public meetings can also help bring community voices together and should be included throughout the lifecycle of code adoption. They can include meetings for industry about regulation decisions early in the process, or public comment periods on regulations before implementing. Find resources about how to organize meetings, ensure engagement, and collect feedback:

Toolkit: Attend and Host Public Meetings

After Adoption

Provide Support

After the BAMC is adopted, regulatory staff, local industry, and the public will need to know about and/or be trained on the changes to body art in the jurisdiction. Use the steps and resources below to update the community.

Toolkit: Provide Support

Need More Support? Reach Out to Us!

We’d love to hear about your BAMC adoption journey, connect you to additional resources, or hear how we can improve this toolkit. Complete our toolkit feedback survey or email us at bodyart@neha.org.